In 2009 we asked Jeremy Leggett, one of the world’s foremost experts on renewable power, energy policy and climate, to comment on his current work and ideas that have influenced him…
Which of your own ideas have you been thinking about most recently?
The green new deal is an idea lots of people seem to have had all the around the same time. No wonder, it makes so much sense: using energy infrastructure spending to tackle the financial meltdown, the climate crisis, and the forthcoming global energy crisis all at the same time. The logic seems clear to many people, not least the government. But as ever, other nations are doing and the Brits are conferring: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/13/carbon-emissions.
What idea of someone else has made most impact on you recently?
The conversion of several prominent environmentalists to nuclear. I think about it a lot, and struggle so hard to understand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzgxoEKI0U8.
What is the most important book/article of ideas that everyone should read and why?
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. As things stand, capitalism as we have collectively allowed it to evolve is destroying our economies, andour civilisation, before our eyes. We have to believe that renaissance is possible, and can be delivered at the spead of an epidemic. This book offers hope.
Jeremy Leggett is one of the world’s foremost experts on renewable power, energy policy and climate change. He worked as an oil geologist before become an environmental campaigner for Greenpeace. A prominent commentator around the world, Jeremy is executive chairman of the UK’s leading solar company, founding director of the world’s first private equity fund for renewable energy, and author of Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis and, in 2009, The Solar Century: The Past, Present and World-changing Future of Solar Energy. Jeremy appears at the Bristol Festival of Ideas on 15th May in a panel debate about ‘What Technologies Will Save Us?’. He will be in discussion with environmental experts Chris Goodall, Gerry Swarbrick and Mark Lynas.